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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-08-2012, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
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need second opinion on behaviour

OK this problem goes back i believe to day 1 i have 2 shepherds at home my first is a 3 year old fixed male, and he has no problems at all. the seocnd is a 1 year old female that isnt spayed yet, she lunges at other dogs while on leash and when off leash she is timid and sticks tight to my leg. when other dogs come up to her she makes no sound but bares teeth. after i wlka in a group of dogs for a little while she will stop lunging, but she also will not approach the other dogs and will still bare teeth if they come near her. as a pup when i first brought her home she was very scared and stayed in a corner for about 3 days before she started exploring the house. she has zero obedience training and she has stopped responding to her name about 75% of the time. any training tips to help with this behavior would be great. also i'll add in she is a gluttne at hime for food and treats however at the park she will take the treat and spit it out or just simply ignore it all together. i could have cheese or hot dogs and she still wont touch it.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-08-2012, 10:46 PM
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Get in touch with a trainer, preferably a behaviorist. Instead of walking her with a group of dogs, I would limit it to 1 maybe 2 very calm dogs. Usually when a dog is food motivated, yet refuses treats such as your dog is doing they are over threshold. If this is a dog park you are talking of, I imagine she is completely overwhelmed.

While searching for the behaviorist, be sure they are very experienced with GSD and large working breeds. Talk with past and current clients, how they felt the training program worked for them and their dog. Be sure the program is going to be including obedience as well as working with her behavior issues.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-09-2012, 02:15 PM
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The book "How To Be Your Dog's Best Friend" by the monks of New Skete might be a good place to start.

You ought to be able to find it at most larger bookstores, or you could order it online.

"I'd better go with you Huck, civilization can be dangerous."-------Tom Sawyer(Mark Twain)
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-09-2012, 03:41 PM
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Of coarse, i suggest getting her spayed, unless you are going to be useing her for responsible breeding. That is one factor that can make her aggressive. Another, is some dogs have more anxiety on leashes for they feel that they can escape from a threat. Like Twyla said, contact a behavioralist and of coarse practice obedience training at home, otherwise she wont know what you want or what certain words mean. Using obedience training can eliminate ALOT of problems. Practice in you home, the yard, then park, pet store, ect. Celia's only problem is her aggression towards dogs (i didnt socialize her well with dogs when she was a puppy) But she listens to her obidence wich can help ALOT. Leave it, stay, come, stop, sit, down, heel, and quiet can be some of the most useful cues, and make you alot less stresses. Shepherds are herding dogs so make sure that she gets alot of exersize and MENTAL STIMULATION. They need alot of mental stimulation since they are the 3rd smartest breed, and it can also save you from having a "accident".

another good book would also be "Dog sense" just publish in 2011 and it scientifically correct. Book suggestions are great! Thanks wetdog
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-10-2012, 03:58 PM
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I would try and fix the problem with training first, not spaying. Depending on the state of the dog, spaying may actually increase her aggression.

FromWikipedia...
Current research
Various studies of the effects neutering has overall on male and female dog aggression have been unable to arrive at a consensus. A possible reason for this according to one study is changes to other factors have more of an effect than neutering.[29] One study reported results of aggression towards familiar and strange people and other dogs reduced between 10 and 60 percent of cases,[30] while other studies reported increases in possessive aggression[31] and aggression towards familiar and strange people,[32] and yet another study reported no effect on territorial aggression, and only a reduction in dominance aggression that existed for at least 5 years.[33] For females with existing aggression, many studies reported increases in aggressive behavior[34][35][36][37] and some found increased separation anxiety behavior.[32][38] A report from the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation reported significantly more behavioral problems in castrated dogs. The most commonly observed behavioral problem in spayed females was fearful behavior and the most common problem in males was aggression.[39] Early age gonadectomy is associated with an increased incidence of noise phobias and undesirable sexual behaviors.[40]
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-10-2012, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pfitzpa1 View Post
I would try and fix the problem with training first, not spaying. Depending on the state of the dog, spaying may actually increase her aggression.

[40]
Exactly. S/N should be done, no doubt, but when working with an aggression issue, it isn't the first tool to reach for. Consult with a behaviorist first, determine what you are working with, then under their guidance, schedule the s/n.

It goes without saying, you will need to manage your dog so they are unable to get loose and end up with an oops.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-10-2012, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pfitzpa1 View Post
I would try and fix the problem with training first, not spaying. Depending on the state of the dog, spaying may actually increase her aggression.

FromWikipedia...
Current research
Various studies of the effects neutering has overall on male and female dog aggression have been unable to arrive at a consensus. A possible reason for this according to one study is changes to other factors have more of an effect than neutering.[29] One study reported results of aggression towards familiar and strange people and other dogs reduced between 10 and 60 percent of cases,[30] while other studies reported increases in possessive aggression[31] and aggression towards familiar and strange people,[32] and yet another study reported no effect on territorial aggression, and only a reduction in dominance aggression that existed for at least 5 years.[33] For females with existing aggression, many studies reported increases in aggressive behavior[34][35][36][37] and some found increased separation anxiety behavior.[32][38] A report from the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation reported significantly more behavioral problems in castrated dogs. The most commonly observed behavioral problem in spayed females was fearful behavior and the most common problem in males was aggression.[39] Early age gonadectomy is associated with an increased incidence of noise phobias and undesirable sexual behaviors.[40]
Another relevant article.

For Females the Effects May be Different
The study results for male dogs and cats make the course of action clear. But for female dogs, the findings on the effects of spaying on behavior were unexpected.
According to Katherine Houpt, VMD, PhD, DACVB, director of the Animal Behavior Clinic at Cornell University Hospital for Animals, spaying may actually contribute to behavioral problems. In a cooperative study with the Institute of Animal Medicine at Gyeongsang National University in Korea, Houpt and her colleagues found that ovariohysterectomy (spay) in healthy German Shepherds bred as working dogs led to increased reactivity.
In the study, 14 healthy German Shepherd bitches at the Korean Air Force Dog Training Center were studied. Half of the study dogs were spayed at 5 to 10 months of age, and the other half were intact. The dogs were littermates and were split equally into both groups to control for genetics. The dogs all lived in the same kennel environment and received similar handling. Their behavioral reactions were tested at 4 and 5 months after surgery.
Each dog was tested separately in its outdoor kennel while the rest of the dogs remained indoors. An unfamiliar human with an unknown dog walked within 1 meter of the target dog's kennel, and the kenneled German Shepherd's response was recorded.
In each of four different recordings for each dog, researchers recorded
• barking or growling
• lunging
• jumping
• snapping
• head high
• ears forward
• eyes staring
• lips lifting or curling.
Dogs were scored as follows
• Score of 3 if they exhibited all 10 behaviors
• Score of 2 if they exhibited 7 of 10 behaviors
• Score of 1 if they exhibited 5 of 10 behaviors
• Score of 0 if they exhibited less than 4 of the behaviors
"Ideally we would have scored the dogs before they were spayed, too," says Houpt. "Regardless, the results were dramatic. Dogs that had been spayed were significantly more reactive, with most receiving scores of 2 and 3, whereas the unspayed littermates received reactivity scores of 1."
These scores decreased in two of the seven experimental dogs on repeat testing, but by the final testing phase, five of the seven dogs still received a score of 2 or higher.
Houpt emphasizes that military dogs would be expected to exhibit more aggressive behaviors and such behavior on command may be desirable. These dogs would not, however, be appropriate as pet or guide dogs or for pet therapy.
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